10 Ways to Save Money on your Dream Wedding
You’ve been dreaming of this big day ever since you were younger. You’re engaged now and ready to start the wedding planning. Now it’s time to turn your dream into a reality, but many couples face a harsh reality when they realize how expensive the dream will be when they start researching.
According to CNBC, the average cost of a wedding in 2019 was $33,900, including all the expenses related to the engagement ring, ceremony and reception. After hearing that price you might second guess a big wedding and go straight to the courthouse or elope. But wait! What if we told you it was possible to have the wedding of your dreams while also sticking to your budget? Here are some tips and tricks on celebrating your big moment while staying within your budget.
1. Have the budget talk
The first thing you must do is to sit and have the budget talk with your partner. This might make you feel uncomfortable at first, but it is important to talk openly and honestly about how much you can spend. Sometimes the wedding you want doesn’t align with the wedding you can afford, so it’s an important step to sit and have these discussions. Your wedding day is the beginning of forever with your partner, and you don’t want wedding debt to be the first thing you have to worry about in your new marriage.
2. Avoid a large guest list
Limiting your guest list is a major way to cut costs for your wedding. Have you ever heard the saying “less is more?” Well, this is the perfect opportunity to put this saying to use. When planning a wedding and trying to stick to a strict budget, the more guests you have, the more expenses you have. This is a very special day for you and your spouse and you don’t want anyone to miss out, but try to be realistic about your guest list.
3. Hold the ceremony at home or outdoors
If you have family or friends that have a nice backyard or property, it could be smart to reach out to them and host the wedding and reception there. The venue can take up a lot of the budget for a wedding, so by hosting it at a location like that, it helps save so you can spend that money elsewhere.
4. Time your wedding
The timing of your wedding can make a difference. Typically weddings are on Saturdays, but because it is such a popular day , the prices go up. By having your wedding on a weekday or even a Sunday, it can save money and give you more options for vendors like DJs, florists, bakeries, etc.
5. Make your own invitations
A cost that can add up are the wedding invitations. If you’re into DIY projects, create and print your own wedding invitations. You can provide your own cardstock for the printer and save money that way. Try going paperless and having an online invitation, it can save on time and cost when it comes down to creating and sending out the invitations. There are also sites where talented and crafty people create and sell beautiful invitations at a fraction of the cost of ordering the engraved kind. They send you a PDF, usually for less than $25, and you send it to a printer and pay to have them printed.
6. Hire a wedding planner
This tip might seem like a contradiction because you’re trying to save money by doing things yourself, but hiring a wedding planner can help tremendously. Wedding planners help couples budget and make sure they stick to their budget. They can also get certain discounts that you might not be able to by planning the wedding yourself. They help keep you stress free, while also creating the wedding you envision and keeping everything on track for your big day.
7. Stock the bar yourself
We all know that one of the best parts of the wedding reception is the open bar, but it is also one of the most expensive. Instead of having a full open bar, you can save money by just offering wine, beer, and a signature cocktail, followed by a cash bar if guests want to purchase something different. Ask the venue if they let you supply your own alcohol, if so that can be a big money saver. Look for a discount liquor store or a large wholesale store in your area, where you can stock up on the basics and you’ll be good to go!
8. Handle your own food preparations
Food is another expense that adds up, especially if you have a lot of guests. You can expect to pay on average $40 per head if you’re having food catered according to Wedding Wire. In order to minimize those costs you might ask your family and friends to help with food and prepare a meal. Having a basic buffet laid out can give guests multiple options for dining, while also being filling. Lastly, if you want to go the nontraditional route, order takeout. Order from your favorite local restaurant or even purchase a stack of takeout pizzas. It might not be the most elegant, but it’s surely the most cost effective for the occasion.
9. DIY Wedding decorations
DIY wedding decorations not only help save on costs, but it also gives a more unique and personable experience to highlight the bride and groom. Although DIY seems the way to go, it is still important to keep in mind how long each project will take, if you’ll have help putting things together, and lastly the cost versus the effort of the project. Sometimes it can be easier and more cost efficient to purchase an item instead of making it, but that all depends on the type of project you plan on starting. Check sites like Etsy and Pinterest for ideas, and look for people who are selling decorations from their own wedding.
10. Don’t go on your honeymoon right away
According to The Knot the average honeymoon costs about $5,000, which is an extra expense you might not want to tack onto your wedding expenses. If you’re on a strict budget, give yourself time after your wedding to save up some funds before taking your big trip. You can take a less expensive “mini-moon” right after your big day as a getaway, but save the honeymoon for later on. You can also set up a honeymoon registry and ask your guests to chip in on your trip of a lifetime.
By following these tips, you will hopefully save a lot of money on your wedding. Regardless, you will be spending money on all of your guests, but they will also be spending money on you too, to show their support and happiness for your marriage. Remember, the amount of money you spend on your wedding day is not a direct correlation to how great it will be, or even how wonderful your love for each other is. You can still stun your guests with a hip and stylish wedding, all at a fraction of the cost.